Glamorgan’s seamers picked up Leicestershire’s last eight second innings wickets for just 85 runs to put the visitors in a strong position to go on and win their Division Two Specsavers County Championship match against Leicestershire at the Fischer County Ground.
Needing 181 to win, Glamorgan did lose an early wicket, pacy left-arm seamer Dieter Klein trapping Nick Selman leg before wicket for just two before bad light saw play ended 15 overs early.
Glamorgan seamer Timm Van der Gugten, who now has nine wickets in the match, said: “It was a pretty hard day out there, the wicket has got a bit easier as the game has gone on, and once the ball gets soft it’s quite a nice wicket to bat on, so if we can get through the new ball tomorrow 181 shouldn’t be a problem.
“The 103-run lead helps of course, so although they had a good opening partnership we could turn it around in our minds and say they were 20-2 instead of 123-2. Hopefully our batsmen can have a few partnerships and get us this win to finish the season off. Hopefully I’ve taken the field for the last time this season!”
The morning had seen Leicestershire openers Angus Robson and Paul Horton extend their second innings partnership to 123 before being parted. Robson hit three fours in a single over from Timm Van der Gugten to bring up his ninth half century of the season before Horton was drawn into pushing at a Craig Meschede delivery and edged to second slip.
On the same score, Robson attempted to cut a short ball from Lukas Carey through the off-side but succeeded only in edging to first slip, where Will Bragg held the catch.
Neil Dexter and Mark Cosgrove added 75 for the third wicket before the left-handed Cosgrove, having survived two vehement appeals for catches behind the wicket, drove airily at a Meschede in-swinger delivered from around the wicket and had his off stump knocked back.
Ned Eckersley played two glorious back-foot drives through the off-side before clipping a Michael Hogan leg-stump half-volley straight into the hands of square leg, and Mark Pettini, having suffered a first-ball duck in the first innings, had made only one when he chopped a wide delivery from Van der Gugten on to his stumps.
The left-handed Harry Dearden, making his home debut for the Foxes, played solidly in going to 16 before being trapped leg before on the back foot to a Van Der Gugten in-swinger, and the tail quickly followed, with Hogan picking up two wickets in two balls.
Dexter was the last man to go, looking to force a wide delivery from Van der Gugten into the off side and like Pettini, edging the ball into his stumps.
Klien’s dismissal of Selman indicated Glamorgan might not find their target easy to reach, but with the ball continuing to swing Leicestershire were frustrated when light forced an early close.
Dexter said after the close: “Obviously we didn’t get as many as we would have liked after the platform that Robbo (Angus Robson) and Horts (Paul Horton) set for us. We lost our way in the middle again, which is disappointing.
“Saying that we definitely are in the game, maybe a bit behind, but a couple of quick wickets and who knows, they crumbled in the first innings and hopefully we can back that up in the second innings. We’d have liked to have them two or three down so the bad light was frustrating but hopefully we’ll hit them hard again in the morning.”